Tumbling for you

Walking down the station and I saw this colourful crochet covering the sign post pole. Creative use of legal vandalism. Photo by: Tina Tek

Walking down the station and I saw this colourful crochet covering the sign post pole. Creative use of legal vandalism. Photo by: Tina Tek

I’m late to this website, but it’s better late than never. I’m introducing my favourite ‘new’ toy – Miss-5ft0 for Tumblr.

Just remember it’s a dash, and not an underscore. Wasn’t allowed to use the underscore because Tumblr won’t let me use it.

I’ll be uploading pics from my Instagram and other various forms of taking photos on a regular basis.

Hopefully, your eyeballs are greeted with pictures which aren’t selfies.

Click here if you want to follow me on Tumblr.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Miss 5ft0

My Hometown: Cabramatta

With the Cabramatta Moon Festival on this Sunday, I think it’s only fitting to describe the suburb I currently reside. I often found my hometown to be a doozy, mainly because I’ve grown accustomed to my area. It was only recently when a friend of mine pointed out that those who don’t live in Cabramatta are fascinated by this place. So with that, I’ll try my best to describe my hometown.

If you walk along Cabramatta’s main strip, John Street, you’ll find there’s a recurring pattern which goes something like this:

1. A restaurant which mainly sells this delicious meal:

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A bowl of pho at Pho Tau Bay, Cabramatta. Photo: Tina Tek

2. This:

Muller's Pharmacy in Cabramatta West. Photo from website.

Muller’s Pharmacy in Cabramatta West. Photo from website.

I’d always been puzzled why there are seven pharmacies all located within a 200 metre strip on John Street. It’s good to know I’m sick, I know there’s a prescription drug out there to suit my needs.

And finally,

A mobile phone store on the corner of John Street and Railway Parade Cabramatta. Photo: Commercial Real Estate

A mobile phone store on the corner of John Street and Railway Parade Cabramatta. Photo: Commercial Real Estate

Like the plethora of pharmacies to choose from in Cabramatta, it’s the same with mobile phone stores. It’s good to know I got a good selection of Android, iPhones and generic mobile phones to choose from.

However, Cabramatta is far away from work, university and designer markets such as Bondi. There are days where I get up at 5.30am, in order to get to work at 8 am. It seems like anywhere else in Sydney would be closer to my workplace. Then it dawns on me all the things I’ll miss. The 6 am ritual of purchasing banh mi thit makes my mouth water.

You will see old women who make Vietnamese desserts, cured pork from home and selling various Asian herbs and spices on the streets during the weekend. At times, I’ll strike up a conversation with some of them – but it abruptly ends as they pack their goods in the trolley and sprint away whenever an approaching Council Officer comes along.

Speaking of food, did I mention how I live in a place that’s well-known for Asian food? How could I leave the delicious food from around the world which is literally outside my door step? With the streets are filled with tropical fruits like soursop, mangosteen and lychees, I could make a delicious fruit cocktail for peanuts.

Fruit grocery along John Street, Cabramatta. Photo: Tina Tek

Fruit grocery along John Street, Cabramatta. Photo: Tina Tek

As you walk down the streets of Cabramatta, you may see a homeless guy that sits at the train station. His black eyes squinting through his square spectacles, mangled jet black hair and a long beard with patches of grey. His skin is dark and uneven. Last year, I gave him a ham sandwich. When I turned around, he gave the sandwiches to another homeless lady, then scavenged the bin to find left over Vietnamese rice paper rolls.

You can get swept up with the local drama of my hometown – which restaurant makes the best crispy skin chicken, to whose child has graduated from medicine, whose child is now opening up another pharmacy, to other important issues such as who’s gain weight, who’s lost weight, who’s gotten a divorce and most of all, who went overseas recently to get plastic surgery.

I found it hard to describe my hometown in words, but it’s a town with it’s own quirks. And in the words of Kenneth Slessor, “You find this ugly, I find this lovely.”

Sydney Market Review: Rozelle Markets

The only way you can describe about the Rozelle Markets in Sydney, it’s a second-hand haven filled with rusty shopping baskets, gaudy beaded necklaces and tea sets. Opened every Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm at Rozelle Public School, if you’re looking to re-decorate your room on a budget, you should really visit the Rozelle Markets. If there’s advice I can give you, is to arrive early in order to pick up one off treasures.

The front of the Rozelle Markets. Photo: Tina Tek

The front of the Rozelle Markets. Photo: Tina Tek

Upon arrival, I scanned around quickly to my favourite stalls which sold an array of white glomesh clutches and wrestling with discarded sequin dresses while the atmosphere was filled with soothing acoustic music. Eating a cheese and bacon roll, I smiled as I picked up an old AC/DC vinyl record. The Rozelle Markets has all the  ingredients needed for the creative genius, or a practical bargain hunter. For me personally, I love the vibrant colours and the plethora of glassware that’s on offer at Rozelle.

Vibrant sewing cotton strings on offer. Photo: Tina Tek

Vibrant sewing cotton strings on offer. Photo: Tina Tek

Colourful glass bottles and bold ceramic mugs on offer. Photo: Tina Tek

Colourful glass bottles and bold ceramic mugs on offer. Photo: Tina Tek

Antique jewellery porn at its finest. Photo: Tina Tek

Antique jewellery porn at its finest. Photo: Tina Tek

Unlike Paddington, Bondi and Glebe markets, you won’t find any designer jewellery or clothing stalls here, making it more like an extensive garage sale than your typical established market.  There aren’t many markets around Sydney that have stayed true to its flea-like atmosphere like Rozelle does and I hope it doesn’t become a commercialised market place that sells overpriced vintage pieces.

Sydney Review: Brett Whiteley Studio

If you want to take a break from hunting pre-loved or vintage goods at the markets, but still want to while away the wintry days, you should definitely head to the Brett Whiteley Studio. Located on 2 Raper Street, Surry Hills, it’s off the laneways of Devonshire Street, but in close proximity to Bourke Street Bakery.

You know you’ve found the place as soon as you see a sculpture of one of his most iconic works at the front door. Two large matchsticks, with one lit and one not lit, which symbolise life and death. Here’s a photo taken by the cool Miss 5ft0:

Front entrance to the Brett Whiteley Studio with the iconic sculpture of the two matchsticks. Photo: Tina Tek

Front entrance to the Brett Whiteley Studio with the iconic sculpture of the two matchsticks. Photo: Tina Tek

Don’t be fooled by it’s deceivingly pint-sized space, the studio is crammed with a mixture of wooden sculptures, stuffed birds, paintings of genitalia and big-breasted women. As a friend of mine said, “You can tell what was on Whiteley’s mind, sex and more sex”. Perhaps it’s due to the theme of this exhibition is called, ‘The Nude’.  Whiteley’s paintings may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I do believe every person should come visit this gallery at least once in their life.

Artworks on display at the Brett Whiteley Studio. Photo taken by the Art Gallery of NSW.

Artworks on display at the Brett Whiteley Studio. Photo taken by the Art Gallery of NSW.

My personal favourite is the upstairs area where you see Whiteley’s unfinished painting called ‘Unfinished Beach Polyptych’, which includes a six-panel spanning 7 metres. You’ll also see an array quotes and various newspaper clippings from the Telegraph Mirror taped onto the brick walls, collage of photos of his travels, his vast collection of vinyl records ranging from Bob Dylan to Janis Joplin on the shelf, to the unused paint cans on the floor.If you listen carefully in the background, you’ll can hear the song, “All Along the Watchtower” played on the loudspeaker. From observing all these various knick knacks on display, you could see what Whiteley’s beliefs and character were. 

The heroin clock. Photo by the Tumblr-ings of a Global Citizen.

The heroin clock. Photo by the Tumblr-ings of a Global Citizen.

The upstairs area of the studio. You can see the 'Unfinished Beach Polptych' from this photo. Photo by the Art Gallery of NSW.

The upstairs area of the studio. You can see the ‘Unfinished Beach Polptych’ from this photo. Photo by the Art Gallery of NSW.

Now I’m sure people are asking questions which are more related to one’s schedule and bank balance. These questions were submitted by a pretty lass named Anita Ket. So here it is:

Do you need to pay to enter the Brett Whiteley Studio? No! I believe it’s a moral duty for art studios and museums to be free.

Is it open during weekdays? No. It’s only open from Friday-Sunday from 10 am – 4pm. Be warned though, the Brett Whiteley Studio will be closed from 2 September – 3 October 2013.

Are their any cafes in the studio? Oh Anita, you should really read the first paragraph carefully. There are no cafes in the Brett Whiteley Studio. But there’s plenty of good grub in Surry Hills. If  you want more info on this, go to my friend, Confessions of A Glutton. She can help you out.

**I apologise for the lack of photos. The Brett Whiteley Studio doesn’t allow visitors to take photos in the studio, so I relied on other image sites instead.

Do you cheer for tea or coffee?

Personally, there’s nothing more seductive than an early morning brew – whether it’s coffee or tea. Both drinks bring a measure of warmth and serenity to a chaotic world of iPhone’s, deadlines and schedules. It’s the taxi-driver’s mate, a lawyer’s best friend, or a stay-at-home parent’s companion.

My favourite drink in the morning - coffee. Photo: Tina Tek.

My favourite drink in the morning – coffee. Photo: Tina Tek.

The only difference in my eyes, is tea has a spiritual aura surrounding this fabulous drink. I always imagine coffee drinkers to have foam solidifying on their upper lips, whilst juggling a suitcase, laptop and an iPhone on their way to work.

I’ve always wondered why this is the case. Why the coffee drinker has always been mocked and ridiculed for being an addict, while tea drinkers have gotten away with such abuse. It may be the fact that coffee houses in the 17th Century were formed alongside insurance companies to attract new customers. Or it could be the fact we picture coffee drinkers with yellow teeth, a nose which is dipped in espresso and blood-shot eyes. Not to mention coffee takes a significant portion out of one’s weekly expenses.

However, tea has gone trendy as well – to the point of being frivolous. Many tea houses now package tea leaves in swanky designer boxes, delicate porcelain teapots, cups and saucers. I’m intimidating to go to tea houses now, in fear that I wouldn’t know what white monkey jasmine tea is. I’m much more happy using a tea bag from Tetley and eating it with an apple and pecan cake.

Can't decide which tea to choose from. Photo: Tina Tek.

Can’t decide which tea to choose from. Photo: Tina Tek.

They’ve also got many interesting concoctions, such as watered downed Turkish apple and cinnamon, white flowery pekoe or green rooibos with berries. It sounds like a lawn mower has gone through his mulch, picked out the odd berries and tree roots from it and brewed it for afternoon tea. I can feel many tea drinkers whose preferred poison is an English Breakfast shaking their heads at the way tea is being marketed now.

For me, I prefer drinking a nice cup of flat white with a breakfast which resembles this:

Ottoman eggs, with garlic labne and crumbled eggplant at Circa Espresso. Photo: Tina Tek

Ottoman eggs, with garlic labne and crumbled eggplant at Circa Espresso. Photo: Tina Tek

Or this:

French toast with rhubarb jam, greek yoghurt and pistachio nuts at Circa Espresso. Photo: Tina Tek

French toast with rhubarb jam, greek yoghurt and pistachio nuts at Circa Espresso. Photo: Tina Tek

However, I want to rant about the stupidity of decaf coffee. For me, there’s never acceptable to drink decaf coffee, it belongs in the bin. It’s like drinking mocktails, you’re missing the point of the product.

Now it’s over to you. Are a coffee lover or a tea drinker? Do you think decaf coffee is pointless? I hope I’m not the only person who feels this way about decaf coffee.

Sydney Market Review: Glebe Markets

I got to thank Carrie Bradshaw for turning me into a vintage shopper addict. There’s something about owning a beautiful old product, perhaps it’s the fact they lived a more interesting life than I ever will.Whatever it is, the Glebe Markets is a vintage shopper’s paradise. Opened every Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm all year round, it’s peppered with interesting finds. If you’ve got the chance, check out the guy who makes wind chimes out of spoons.

General layout of the Glebe Markets. Photo: Tina Tek

General layout of the Glebe Markets. Photo: Tina Tek

As it‘s set on the oval playgrounds of Glebe Public School, it gives the stalls an Aussie bush background with all the eucalyptus trees, wild grass and remnants of bark and dried leaves on the ground. The stalls will remind you of your grandma’s attic, from the ubiquitous amounts of vinyl records, to the overflowing racks of denim overalls, tan brogues and glomesh clutches, it’s something Zooey Deschanel would go nuts over. It’ll be a sin if I didn’t show you what goodies are on offer in visual mode:

We know what cool piece we should buy this summer - overalls! Photo: Tina Tek

We know what cool piece we should buy this summer – overalls! Photo: Tina Tek

Wide selection of vintage bags. Photo: Tina Tek

Wide selection of vintage bags. Photo: Tina Tek

Tribal fabrics. Photo: Tina Tek

Tribal fabrics. Photo: Tina Tek

Tan brogues at affordable prices. Photo: Tina Tek

Tan brogues at affordable prices. Photo: Tina Tek

Zombie keyrings. Photo: Tina Tek

Zombie keyrings. Photo: Tina Tek

For those who aren’t keen on fashion, there’s a great selection of food stalls available as well. From farmer’s selling freshly made yoghurt to organic rye bread, there’s something for everyone. If you’re stomach’s growling after strolling around the markets, you should check out this cute little food stall called Chai Watta and give their pancakes a go.

Chai Watta - excellent place for pancakes. Photo: Tina Tek

Chai Watta – excellent place for pancakes. Photo: Tina Tek

If you’re a dedicated foodie, it’ll be best if you went to the Eveleigh Markets for a wider selection of fresh produce. Personally, I feel the Glebe Markets will always be known for stocking pre-loved clothing and vinyl records rather than selling gourmet foods. Some have also commented how difficult it is to manoeuvre around the stalls, but I feel this adds to the market vibe of  the Glebe Markets. One thing I’ve noticed is while genuine second-hand stalls are still available, they aren’t around as often and more of the newer stalls are offering handmade goods or new products. Whilst prices of food and products are climbing at a steady rate.

All in all, the Glebe Markets is a fun way to spend Saturday mornings frolicking around to find one-off bohemian pieces and cool vinyl records from AC/DC.

Details:

Where: Glebe Public School on Glebe Point Rd.

When: Every Saturday from 10 am – 4pm.

Type: Flea market

Activities: Shopping for pre-loved clothing and accessories.

Sydney Market Stall Review: Paddington Markets

Open every Saturday on Oxford Street, Paddington Markets, or as the locals affectionately call it, the “Paddo Bazaar” is an institution in Sydney. With less sardines and more goodies made by upcoming designers, it draws many locals and tourists to scour for one-off handcrafted goods such as artworks and home decor ornaments. You’ll also find a line of fortune tellers outside the gates of the markets.

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Store front of the Paddington Market frothing up with dope items for your closet or the humble abode. Photo: Tina Tek

If you meander around the markets, you’ll find yourself feasting your eyes on the various teas, arts, crafts and other goodies available. You may hear at least one person say, “I’ll never drink again!” , whilst getting some much needed coffee. Nevertheless, my advice is to come here with an open mind, or even chat to some of the stall operators as you can always spark an interesting conversation with them, or gain an insight to their product. Many feel the Paddington Markets no longer have a ‘junk’ aspect to it, and this is true in many cases. Recycled clothing and accessories are absent here, as it’s filled with creations of up and coming fashion designers. I do feel that while some things are beautiful, they’re overpriced – according to my made up statistics, 99.9% I surveyed wouldn’t spend $150 on a cushion. If you want to grab a unique item of clothing or accessories, it’s worth getting up early to nab those things.

Various trinklets available at the Paddington Markets. Photo: Tina Tek

Various trinklets available at the Paddington Markets. Photo: Tina Tek

Spice trail. Photo: Tina Tek

Spice trail. Photo: Tina Tek

Colourful cashmere scarves. Photo: Tina Tek

Colourful cashmere scarves. Photo: Tina Tek

Vintage ties on display. Photo: Tina Tek

Vintage ties on display. Photo: Tina Tek

Cowboy boots - feeling that Texan vibe. Photo: Tina Tek

Cowboy boots – feeling that Texan vibe. Photo: Tina Tek

Clothing rack frothing up with tons of floral shirts. Photo: Tina Tek

Clothing rack frothing up with tons of floral shirts. Photo: Tina Tek

There's nothing more seductive than a brewed pot of tea. Photo: Tina Tek

There’s nothing more seductive than a brewed pot of tea. Photo: Tina Tek

Sunnies galore at Abe & Sara Photo: Tina Tek

Sunnies galore at Abe & Sara Photo: Tina Tek

One great young designer to check out if you’re ever at the Paddington Markets is Woody Roo. You may feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of Dead Poets Society when you browse through this label. With the neutral colours, argyle prints and soft tailoring, it gives a refreshing look to an otherwise conservative preppy style.

Blazer and argyle printed bow tie at Woody Roo. Photo: Tina Tek

Blazer and argyle printed bow tie at Woody Roo. Photo: Tina Tek

Oh silly me, I almost forgot to introduce you to the dapper lad solely responsible for designing these beautiful garments, his name’s Billy Wood. It’s always nice to put a face to a person. So here’s a photo of what he looks like :

The man behind Woody Roo - Billy Wood. Photo: Tina Tek

The man behind Woody Roo – Billy Wood. Photo: Tina Tek

For all you lads who are interested in buying an item of Woody Roo, you should check out the chino tan pants, they’re seriously dope.

However, I got something to say about this great Paddington institution. These days, Oxford Street resembles more of a ghost town, with small boutiques and established brands such as Nicola Finetti and Shag closing their doors in recent times. There are many factors which are affecting this once fashionable suburb. Online shopping, the opening of Bondi Junction Westfields, the lack of parking in Paddington and high rental costs are some of the reasons why many of the boutiques are closing its doors. Perhaps the Woollahra Municipal Council should consider a free bus shuttle service from Central station to Paddington, as well as the surrounding suburbs of Darlinghurst and Woollahra in order to help out the local boutiques in the area. Considering how the current government is axing seven of out the 12 free shuttle bus services across Sydney including Cabramatta, Liverpool and Mt Druitt area – I feel my proposal will go down the gurdler.

It’s not all doom and gloom at the Paddington Markets, as long as they continue to tap to the massive pool of emerging talent that we have in Straya, people will come here in droves.

Details

Where: Paddington Markets are located at the Paddington Uniting Church on Oxford Street.

When: Every Saturday, 10 am – 4pm

Type: Flea market – but showcases upcoming designers